Following an investigation over a year in the making, police have arrested 14 people for their alleged involvement in a multi-tier drug-trafficking organization.
According to a news release from Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force, police first began getting tips in 2012 about the organization, which was spread through Weber, Davis, Cache and Utah counties, as well as Wyoming. An investigation from the strike force, Weber County attorney's office and the FBI followed, resulting in the arrests, in addition to seizures of about $400,000 worth of cash and assets.
"Thousands of man-hours went into this," said Lt. Troy Burnett, strike force commander. "This was a cooperative investigation with not only the FBI and Weber County attorney's office, but Utah Highway Patrol, the Weber County sheriff's office and the Ogden Police Department really ponying up resources."
The release said Timothy Nelson, 30, and David Chacon, 31, dealt large amounts of methamphetamine to Jalatt Siripathan, 39, who delivered the drugs to Shane Osborn, 44. Osborn then split up the meth into ounces and distributed it through a large network that reached as far north as Wyoming and as far south as Utah County, investigators said.
The strike force began arresting Osborn's distributors, for suspicion of various drug-related crimes, in June, including: Donald Sweet, 43; Richard Lambeth, 43; Cathy Anderson, 50; Dustin Millard, 46; Clark Friesen, 48, Gregory Murray, 59, and Joshua Crane, 39.
According to Burnett, Osborn's distribution ring was one of the main suppliers of meth in the area.
Osborn was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of possession of meth, marijuana and drug paraphernalia, as well as 16 counts of suspected conspiracy to distribute meth, the release stated. Nelson was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of conspiracy to distribute meth, and what was believed to be meth was found in the home he shared with Teanna Ortega, 29, who was arrested on suspicion of possession of meth and drug paraphernalia.The Division of Child and Family Services was called in because several children were also in the home.
Police on Tuesday also arrested Chacon on two counts of suspicion of conspiracy to distribute meth, and they arrested Siripathan for suspicion of possession of meth and 16 counts of suspicion of conspiracy to distribute meth.
Osborn's father, Calvin Osborn, 62, was also arrested, for suspicion of possession of meth and destroying evidence. Michelle Gonzales, 35, Shane Osborn's girlfriend, was arrested on three counts of suspicion of conspiracy to distribute meth, as well as several outstanding warrants.
According to the release, the investigation is ongoing, and police are still trying to arrest other people involved in the organization.
Weber County Attorney Dee Smith could not be reached for comment, but Burnett expected formal charges against many of the accused to be filed soon.